Usually when engineers think of rolled screws, they think of something that isn't very precise—with lead errors in the neighborhood of 0.01 inch per linear ft. Not any longer. Engineers at Nook Industries have reportedly come up with a way to thread roll screws with a lead error of just 0.0001 inch per linear ft—accuracy that's on the order of more expensive ground screws. The only limitation of the rolling process, engineers say, is that the outer diameter of the thread dictates the maximum diameter on the screw. Nook engineers say the advancement was "the result of better control of the rolling process." The benefits, says Chief Engineer Rick Christyson, are the cost savings (he estimates about one third the cost of a ground screw) and shorter, more reliable delivery schedules. Typical lead times for ground screws are variable, ranging from weeks to even months, says Christyson. Rather than going to head-to-head with ground screws, though, Nook says that it will target the market served by servo-hydraulics, which involves high loads, high speeds, and precision motion. Though the company won't release the new rolled screws until this summer, it's currently Beta-testing them with several customers in the OEM machine market. So far, so good, says Nook.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.